Should Salt No Longer Be Generally Recognized as Safe?
November 13, 2007
Because of its negative health impacts, salt should no longer be considered safe, and it’s generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status should be revoked, according to a petition by advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA has scheduled a hearing in response, where they will discuss revising their salt regulations, along with the implications of doing so.
In its petition, CSPI has recommended that:
- Limits be put on the amount of salt in processed foods
- Health messages related to salt be limited
- Salt be treated as a food additive, not GRAS
Eating too much sodium has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. More than three-quarters of the salt in the average American diet comes from processed foods.
CSPI has petitioned the FDA about its salt regulations in the past, as well. In 1978 they asked for limits for sodium in processed foods, and in 1981 they suggested adding warning labels on packages of salt that weighed more than half an ounce. Both petitions were denied.
At the FDA’s hearing, scheduled for November 29, 2007, policies regarding salt and sodium will be discussed, and comments on current and potential future approaches will be taken.